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Cops nail kidnap gang

Ranchi, June 6: Sahebganj police today arrested two persons, who were allegedly part of an interstate gang which had masterminded the elaborate kidnap of Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) leader and influential businessman Omkarmal Agrawal, and rescued him from captivity.

Sixty-eight-year-old Agrawal, a resident of Kokrajhar in Assam, was kidnapped on June 3 morning from Sahebganj station and kept hostage at Goranda village, some 65km from district headquarters.

The kidnappers also demanded a ransom of Rs 3 crore from his son Ambar.

Agrawal’s alleged captors Som Murmu and Samuel Hansda, arrested from two different places in Barhet police station area, were part of the Jharkhand-Bengal-Assam gang that had hatched a meticulous plan to land Agrawal in their net.

Agrawal, who is also the president of Purvottar Marwari Sammelan, got a call on May 26 from a person calling himself Ashok Mittal. This person told Agrawal to expand the ambit of the Marwari outfit in Santhal Pargana and added that BJP leader Hemlal Murmu was keen to meet him.

A follow-up call came from another man impersonating the BJP leader’s personal assistant Rakesh. He requested Agrawal to come to Sahebganj and meet “special members of the Marwari community in Santhal Pargana in person”.

As the elderly businessman stepped out of Brahmaputra Mail on June 3, the waiting kidnappers bundled him into their SUV and sprinted him away.

Addressing the media this evening, DGP Rajeev Kumar said with today’s twin arrests, five persons were so far implicated in the case. The three others detained yesterday were Samsher Ansari, Sunil Hembrom and Prakash Murmu.

“Samuel Hansda runs the gang behind the kidnap,” he said, adding that cellphone records helped them track the members.

Agrawal’s son Ambar praised Jharkhand police for his father’s swift rescue. “I am really grateful,” he said.